You should make sure the kind of decking materials you purchase are obtained from renewable resources. By taking the time to find out if your building supplier obtains their wood, boards, and other materials from responsible sources, you ensure you are doing your part for the environment. For example, cedar is a type of wood typically grown in many of the western states. However, cutting down redwood forests simply to harvest the wood is not a responsible choice, as this harms the environment. Instead, there are specific suppliers who constantly replant new trees to keep the supply of cedar readily available, and to protect our forests and the environment.
Another consideration when choosing decking materials is the impact they will have on the environment in the future. Choosing decking that has a low environmental impact is a better choice than using artificial materials. Cedar boards do naturally decompose, over time, and break down, unlike composite decking. Because composite does not deteriorate, it ends up in our landfills, rather than decomposing and returning into the earth.
However, you do not have to worry about your cedar decking deteriorating quickly, as it is designed to last around 25 years without any protectants, as the heartwood contains extractives that are toxic to decay-causing fungi. You are able to get a longer lifespan out of the decking by using approved protectants and sealants. You should reapply these as recommended by your building supplier, such as annually, in order to ensure they keep the wood fully protected.